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Hard drive reliability figures


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Lifeisabeach

 
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Backblaze, a cloud service provider, has released some HDD reliability statistics on the drives they've been using. Hitachi's drives have proven to be the most reliable (that really surprised me) and Western Digital coming in 2nd place. Seagate was a very distant 3rd place. Their failure rates are abysmally high, at least for certain models.

Putting hard drive reliablity to the test shows not all disks are equal | Ars Technica
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Seagate was a very distant 3rd place. Their failure rates are abysmally high, at least for certain models.
Makes you wonder why Apple uses them in their iMacs and some MacBook Pro models. The one that failed in my 21.5" 2011 iMac was a Seagate. Apple replaced it with a Western Digital model.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Makes you wonder why Apple uses them in their iMacs and some MacBook Pro models. The one that failed in my 21.5" 2011 iMac was a Seagate. Apple replaced it with a Western Digital model.
The only drives I've ever had fail on me in 20 years now are an external Seagate drive a year or so ago and the internal one on my iMac a few months ago. I already had developed a poor impression of Seagate in recent years just from reading around, but this solidifies it.
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For what it's worth…the 2009 iMac I just purchased has a 500gig Seagate HD in it with 19383 uptime hours.

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From my experience with hard drives from present all the way back to my first 20MB HDD in my Tandy 1000. Is that not one manufacture is always better then the other and that over time QA and build quality can vary. For many years up to about mid 90s I was a big time Western Digital user, but their build quality dropped and I started using Maxtor drives and at that time up to about '99-2k they were solid. But as always their standards fell and I had a short spin with IBM/Hitachi drives (this is when 7200RPM drives were still new) Then about 2003 I started moving back to WB as quality on their drives slowly picked back up and they pretty much have maintained being a good product to date although some models tend to no be as good as others. Some of their non enterprise performance line (black drives) are hit or miss at times. While their blue and green drives seems to be much more reliable, I assume this is due to them running slightly cooler. Their Raptor enterprise drives are solid built and extremely reliable, but you need to make sure these are kept very cool. As always "heat + electronics = failure"..


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Over the years, I've had 2 external HDs fail, both were Maxtor (not sure who made these and it has been 4 to 6 years - both were backing up office PCs). I now have two 1 TB Seagate external HDs running Time Machine on my MBP & iMac - first, I'm not sure if the data presented about the Seagate drives in the link applies to the ones I own? And second, should these results impact on me (or others) immediately replacing their external backup drives for another brand?

Now, if I did want to replace my Seagate HDs, would the Hitachi or WD (for a similar price - about $80 per Seagate drive for me) be the best choice? Are there even 'better' brands, such as from OWC, albeit maybe more pricey; OR should I opt for even more reliance and go w/ a RAID 1 setup w/ a mirrored BU drive? Comments appreciated - Dave
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I wouldn't start replacing my hard drives based on a study. As long as you have some redundancy protecting your data, it's best to continue using them. Also, the way technology is moving along it won't be long before we see external SSDs which should improve reliability. Of course prices will have to start coming down before they become the norm.
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I agree with chscag. You should always assume your main drive, regardless of who made it, will die at any moment and have a backup plan in place. It may be wise to avoid buying Seagate in the future, but there's no reason to panic and replace them now if what you have is working.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
I wouldn't start replacing my hard drives based on a study. ..........
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
I agree with chscag. You should always assume your main drive, regardless of who made it, ............
I could not agree more..


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Thanks All for the comments - I was not really planning to replace my Seagates @ the moment, but I'm sure others coming fresh into this thread would have the same question, so just wanted some advice from our experts here.

BUT, I do have a secondary BU of my wife's iMac to Carbonite online & also a LaCie external SSD for my laptop's personal files (i.e. music, docs, & pics) - thus, for those 'worried' about HD failures (and they will occur and unexpectedly), then always have multiple BU plans - as prices drop, I might explore the SSD choices for Time Machine and also the RAID 1 possibility.

Thanks again for the posts - Dave
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Even Backblaze after their own study is not replacing Seagate drives and are, in fact, still buying them.

Am surprised their study related to WD drives matches my own experience - if the drive makes it past the first couple of months, you've got a good drive. Think all the WD drives I've had replaced under warranty have been within that time frame.

Maxtor was making the fastest drives on the market (for their time) back in the day.

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Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
You should always assume your main drive, regardless of who made it, will die at any moment and have a backup plan in place.
If someone only gets one thing out of this thread, it should be this.

I've found myself sticking to WD drives since I started seriously purchasing hard drives consciously (so, not as part of a machine). They've always worked well for me so I just stuck with them. I am surprised at how well Hitachi drives faired - perhaps I should look at them next time.

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a 500gig Seagate HD in it with 19383 uptime hours.
How did you get the runtime Nick? "About This Mac" would seem the obvious place, but I can't see it anywhere.
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type uptime from console


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That gives you the uptime of the machine, not the HD.

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